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2022 Corporate Responsibility Report

Our approach to energy-efficient networks

We operate our own fixed-line and mobile networks in Europe and the United States. The majority of our energy requirements come from operating this network infrastructure. To handle growing amounts of data and improve the speed and quality of data transmission, we continuously increase the capacity and performance of our networks. To ensure that our energy consumption grows much less than the amounts of data transmitted, we are pursuing various approaches:

  • We are updating our network infrastructure, e.g., by migrating the fixed network to IP img technology and removing equipment we no longer need, such as 3G img antennas. The 3G network was switched off in Germany on June 30, 2021.
  • We have established specifications and requirements that firmly anchor energy efficiency in the architecture and design phase when selecting new technologies.
  • We use more energy-efficient technology for our networks. This also applies to the lighting, monitoring and, above all, cooling of our plants.
  • The energy management practices of our internal energy service provider Power & Air Solutions have been ISO 50001 img certified since 2013.
  • We are optimizing energy efficiency throughout the entire supply chain for all locations of Telekom Technik, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.
  • We are expanding our use of photovoltaic systems at Deutsche Telekom locations. In the process, we are emphasizing use of power storage systems and intelligent load management. Power & Air Solutions is testing innovative technologies such as fuel cells; energy generation from waste heat, via gas turbines; and ice-storage systems for support of mechanical cooling systems.
  • Also, in the framework of our energy management in Germany, we are working to reduce the energy requirements of our buildings. We continuously monitor consumption values and use this data to identify potential for improving efficiency.
  • In 2020, we published an energy guideline applicable throughout the Group. It helps our national companies implement our Climate Strategy. The guideline compiles selected measures and proposed solutions for better energy efficiency, including operational energy-saving functions, optimized energy management, decommissioning of legacy systems, and/or the use of more energy-efficient technologies. In the year under review, we reviewed how the energy guideline is being implemented in practice, by studying use cases involving individual projects. We found that marked positive effects are already being achieved.

We are also aiming to stabilize our energy consumption and increase our energy efficiency by 2024, in spite of growing data traffic and our network expansion. In a Group-wide technology-innovation project, we are studying and developing new ways of making our network operations even more energy-efficient and sustainable. In the process, we are looking especially carefully at the areas of energy transport, energy availability, and energy efficiency. For example, we plan to optimize energy consumption in our mobile- and fixed-network operations, and to develop innovative solutions for generating and storing renewable energy for use at mobile base stations. The results of these efforts will help us promote energy-efficiency and energy-saving measures in Germany and Europe. In the same vein, some of our European national companies have already been able to reduce their energy consumption via network modernizations.

We are working with a telecommunications supplier in the renewable energy sector to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of the energy generation activities at our mobile base stations. Making integrated use of solar energy at these mobile base stations allows us to optimize energy consumption, as confirmed by initial tests during the period under review. The first successful laboratory tests have also laid the foundation for using zero-emission fuel cells to supply climate-neutral energy to the mobile base stations. We are still in the pilot phase here.

Since 2020, we have been a member of the Solar Impulse Foundation (SIF) 1000+ Solutions Alliance. The aim of the SIF is to identify more than000 solutions that tackle environmental problems – especially those resulting from climate change. For Deutsche Telekom, the focus is on developing technologies for the ICT img industry that have a positive impact on reducing carbon emissions, on energy management and energy efficiency, and on the collection and recycling of digital devices. In addition, SIF not only supports the development of solutions like these; it also certifies them. In 2020, it recognized a solution used by Deutsche Telekom in Germany and its partner Cloud&Heat to cool servers using an innovative water-cooling system.

Impact assessment for our materiality analysis
In the impact assessment for our materiality analysis, we have identified energy-intensive processes along our value chain. The use of fossil-fuel energy in the upstream and downstream value chain is still widespread, making a particularly large contribution to global warming and placing additional pressures on humans and the environment. The disposal of electronic waste can also pose further problems for the environment and human health.

In order to address these risks, we involve our suppliers in our environmental initiatives as part of our supplier management process.

Heinz-Gerd Peters

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Heinz-Gerd Peters

Reporting against standards

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 302 3-3 (Management of material topic)
  • GRI 305 3-3 (Management of material topic)